Unfertilised eggs

by Rita & Serena
(Perth, Western Australia )

Hello. I have two four year old female budgies, Maxi and Molly.
Maxi has laid about 10 eggs in total this season within 2-3 clutches (which are unfertilised as we don't have a male budgie). The first time she laid eggs was last year.
We have had to remove the eggs in the first 2 clutches because, after sitting on them for a couple of weeks, she cracked them open with her beak.
A couple of days ago, in the morning, the screeching of our birds woke us up. We went to go see what was going on and Molly (who has never laid eggs in her life so far) was at the bottom of the cage where Maxi was keeping her unfertilised eggs warm. They were fighting like we have never seen before. It was quite bad.
Molly was trying to get to Maxi's eggs, which she managed to, and cracked two of open. We separated them immediately into the spare cage and managed to save the 3 uncracked eggs (as we were taking the eggs away from Molly, she grabbed onto my wrist with her beak and wouldn't let go). We kept the eggs from both of them.
We put them in the same cage later during that day and they were fine and back to normal. Maxi was really happy, chirping and being her usual crazy self (which we haven't seen for a while because she has been spending so much time on her eggs)! But then we reconsidered taking the eggs away from her that day, so we put them back into the cage for Maxi to sit on them, as every now and then she would go to the the corner of the cage where they were before we took them away from her, and we put Molly into the spare cage so that she wouldn't crack Maxi's eggs open again.

We have had them separated for a few days now so that Maxi can sit on her eggs in peace. Although, we are quite concerned about it because she has been sitting on them for longer than usual. Usually she will sit on her clutch of eggs for no more than 3 weeks before she will lose interest and crack them open herself, but she has been sitting on the now for almost a month.

Is this normal for a budgie to be sitting on her unfertilised eggs for this long? What is the usual/normal amount of time they would sit on their clutch of eggs for? And should we take the eggs away from her anytime soon?

Her droppings are huge! We were thinking it might be because she isn't eating as much as usual because she is too busy sitting on her eggs, and her food is just passing straight through her. Could that just be the reason? Is it normal?? We don't think she has egg binding because she isn't showing the symptoms for it such as swelling around the vent or anything. She still goes for an occasional snack on her seeds, fruit and veges and for a sip of water). She still goes to the top of the cage on the perch a couple of times each day (not for very long though, just a couple of minutes) and is cleaning herself, although she isn't chirping as much as usual.

We are worried about the amount of time she is sitting on her eggs for and the size of her droppings.

Please help
Thank you

Rita & Serena

Comments for Unfertilised eggs

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Sep 16, 2013
Switching birds to pellets includes seeds
by: Tracie

Yes, seeds are okay to feed along with the pellets. If you are gradually converting your birds, they will not act sick. (Converting wouldn't make them sick, maybe just change the way the poop looks.) Please read the articles below, they mention seeds and the percentage that is best, and choose the method you feel will work best for your birds.

Switching Birds To Pellets article

Switching Budgies To Pellets article

Sep 14, 2013
by: Serena

Thank you for the info!
Of course I want my budgies to be healthy all the time but I didn't realise. I have heard that some birds can get sick if their diet is changed (eg. from seeds to pellets), is this true? I feed my budgies Trill Seeds (also fruit, veg and a few other things) but I will buy some pellets for my budgies and get them started on that. Is it ok to mix them with seeds as well? Can I give them an occasional seed treat?
And should I introduce pellets to them slowly or is all at once ok? ( if they take them straight away)?

Thank you, Serena

Sep 14, 2013
Starting bird on pellets
by: Tracie

You do NOT want to wait to start your bird on pellets, because the very next egg could get stuck because she is not healthy. Don't you want your bird healthy all the time anyway?

Your bird may take to pellets right away, or it may take months to recognize the pellets as food. (It took me over a year to get my parakeet to eat a seed, because it was weaned to pellets!)

Our avian vet has not only been practicing for over 30 years, he teaches avian medicine at a university. He sees birds that don't eat pellets or are fed cheap colored pellets and they have many more health problems.

Dr B says that he has never seen a case of egg binding in a bird that eats the proper amount of Harrison's pellets. This is the best way to care for your bird.

Sep 14, 2013
Thank you
by: Serena

Thank you very much for the reply and the information.
A couple of weeks ago Maxi cracked her last egg and hasn't laid any since.
The next time she does lay her eggs I will look into providing her with pellets

Thank you for your time and help


Sep 12, 2013
Bird laying eggs
by: Tracie

Here is the article on how to switch your parrot to pellets mentioned:
Switching Birds To Pellets article

Chronic Egg Laying article

Sep 11, 2013
unfertilised eggs
by: Alex

I don't think there is any set time they will sit on the eggs. Just remove them if they are damaged or when she loses interest.

The droppings you describe are usual for hens looking after eggs.

I would not worry.

As the hen is laying eggs it would be best to convert her to Harrison's pellets which are organic and contain all the nutrients the bird needs.Egg laying can drain the bird of calcium causing health problems and lack of calcium can cause egg-binding which is where the shell of the egg is soft due to the lack of calcium and it becomes stuck and the hen cannot push it out. It then becomes a life threatening emergency.

Tracie or Linda can provide the conversion advice article.

My budgies love the pellets. They come in different sizes for all types of parakeet and parrot.

The diet should be at least 80% pellets and 20% treats and other foods.

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